Morak Korean Fusion Restaurant

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Kimchi Hot Pot

Morak Koeran Fusion Restaurant has been a spot I’ve wanted to try for quite a while. Finally, we were at Metrotown and looking for lunch nearby so I suggested we go try since it’s only a short walk from the mall. The restaurant is quite small and run by mainly two ladies in the front so service can be a bit slow.

It was a cold and gloomy day so a hot soup was all I wanted. I decided to go for the Kimchi Hot Pot and this was served with a bowl of rice. The soup was piping hot and filled with kimchi, pork and tofu. I really enjoyed this as the soup was extremely flavourful with spice and pickled flavours. This was the individual size but you can choose a larger pot if you have two people sharing.

 

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Gganpoong Chicken

Of course S went for the Gganpoong Chicken and it was surprisingly delicious! At first, I thought the portion was pretty small given it was almost $30, but the chicken was juicy and moist and crispy on the outside. The boneless chicken are cut into smaller pieces and fried with garlic oil and then covered with a sweet and sour sauce. The garlic flavour really came through and this was quite a different flavour from the fried chicken I’ve had at other Korean restaurants. You’ll have a bit of garlic breath after, but I loved it!

 

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We were also given banchan or side dishes to start. These consisted of bean sprouts, sweet potato, and pickled radish. I was surprised there wasn’t kimchi, but to be honest the side dishes didn’t really impress me. I thought the flavours were extremely mild and there was barely any flavour to it. For example, I usually love Korean sweet potatoes but these tasted just like cooked potatoes without any syrup or soy.

The rest of the food we ordered were delicious though and I would love to come back to try the other dishes. Prices are a bit higher than other Korean spots, but the food tastes great.

Pros:
– Flavourful and well executed main dishes

Cons:
– Prices slightly on the higher end
– Seating can be a bit cramped and service a bit slow

Price Range: $15-30 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: Free or meter parking at nearby streets Overall: 4

 

Morak Korean Fusion Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Black Rice Izakaya

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Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Back in December, Black Rice Izakaya launched some new items on their winter menu and we were invited for a tasting.

 

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The interior is full of wooden details giving it a warm izakaya feel.

 

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Gin No Kurenai “Pink Lady”

We started off with some sake called Pink Lady which has a rose colour and is light, sweet and fruity. My first time trying sake with a rose colour and it didn’t disappoint!

 

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Goma Tuna

To start, we had the Goma Tuna which was served with a side of sea urchin. The tuna was lightly seasoned with sesame and seaweed.

 

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Hamaguri Dobin Mushi

One of my favourite appetizers was the Hamaguri Dobin Mushi. This clam soup had a clean but flavourful taste and was perfect as a palette cleanser. Highly recommend giving this a try especially in this cold weather!

 

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Kimchi Scallop Motoyaki

The Kimchi Scallop Motoyaki was visually attractive! The scallop shells were filled with of course scallop, kimchi, chopped bell pepper, butter and cheese. The kimchi was not overly spicy but was packed with flavour.

 

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Teriyaki Wagyu Steak

Another delicious dish was the Teriyaki Wagyu Steak. The Wagyu beef is glazed with a teriyaki sauce and sits on top of Monterrey jack and mozzarella cheese which has been mixed with mashed potatoes. The beef was cooked to a medium rare with a beautiful pink center. Super tender! My only wish was that the cheesy mixture was more stringy.

 

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Kimchi Nabe

Perfect for the cold weather is the Kimchi Nabe, a kimchi stew with vegetables, sliced pork and tofu balls. This Korean Japanese fusion works and would be great with a side of rice!

 

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Napolitan Spaghetti

One of the more interesting dishes was the Napolitan Spaghetti. The dish features soba noodles, tomato sauce, ketchup, bacon, sausage, onions and egg underneath. The spaghetti reminds me of the HK style cafe pastas with the sauce being on the sweeter side. But for some reason, it works and tastes really homey!

 

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To finish, we had some sushi which is part of their regular menu and is not usually presented like this. This is just a quick version of the Aburi Scallop Hako and the Black Mentaiko Roll. Still, they tasted great and the Black Mentaiko Roll caught me by surprise with the chewy black rice.

Overall, some great new winter additions to the menu this season. The food is definitely fusion and strongly Korean influenced, but it works! A great spot to share a few dishes with friends and have some drinks!

 

Black Rice Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Samsoonie Noodle & Rice

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Spicy Rice Cake

Samsoonie Noodle & Rice has been around for a while now. The restaurant looks kind of beat down both inside and out, so I was never interested in visiting. However, T suggested we check it out so off we went. Not the nicest decor inside, but the pricing and portions are such a good deal! For example, this Spicy Rice Cake dish which is huge was only $9! It came with boiled egg, fish cake, japchae noodles, and of course rice cake and served with tons of spicy sauce. The rice cake had a nice chew and was cooked well. The sauce was not overly spicy but definitely has a kick to it. Would be really good with rice! They only offer two banchan here which I assume switches up. First was kimchi and the second was marinated fish cake. Not bad.

 

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Bossam

The other dish we tried was the Bossam, a common dish in Korean cuisine. On the menu, it says we need to order two hours in advance, but since we came during lunch time and it wasn’t too busy, we didn’t have any problems ordering this when we arrived. I think this was the half order but it is still quite a lot for two people if you are planning to order other dishes. The boiled pork is served with marinated spicy radish and to be wrapped with lettuce and cabbage wraps. The meat was not cut very nicely because there were strands coming apart, but the ratio of fat to meat was right on. So good when you put the spicy radish and some Korean sweet and spicy sauce with it!

 

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Overall, I quite enjoyed the food at Samsoonie. The portions are huge and prices are reasonable. I wouldn’t say this is the best Korean food I’ve had, but a good spot if you want a quick and cheap comfort meal in Richmond.

 

Pros:
– Generous portions and reasonable prices
– Decent eats

Cons:
– Interior is not that nice

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 2.5 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 3

Samsoonie Noodle & Rice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gang Nam Korean BBQ

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Gang Nam Korean BBQ is located on the corner of Empire Centre and has been around for quite some time, but for some reason or another, I never gave it a try. Finally, on a weekday night, I headed over with S, J, and M for a Korean bbq night.

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Each table has a grill in the middle, so space-wise, you don’t get a lot and it gets rather crowded to eat.

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Banchan

Once you’ve placed your order, they bring you a large assortment of complimentary Banchan, which included marinated bean sprouts, kimchi, sweet potatoes, pickled radish, green salad, and lettuce to wrap your meat in.

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Marinated Pork Short Rib

We ended up ordering one of their BBQ dinner combos which was around $45 and is supposed to fill 2-3 people. It came with 4 meat dishes, a choice of Seafood Pancake or Japchae and a choice of Bibimbop.

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Chicken Bulgogi

All their meats were very flavourful since they were well seasoned. You got quite a lot of meat for the price you pay. Our combo also came with Pork Belly and Pork Jowl.

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Japchae

We chose Japchae as one of our options and it was a large dish (the picture above was half eaten already).

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Bulgogi Bibimbop

For Bibimbop, you can choose between vegetables, beef, seafood or pork. We went for the stir fried beef and it was very flavourful.

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Beef Tongue

We also added the Beef Tongue separately and these were delicious. I love the chew on it.

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Man-du

The last add on we had was the Man-du which are steamed meat dumplings. These were addicting and I loved the sweet soy sauce that came with it.

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Overall, we were extremely happy with Gang Nam Korean BBQ. We were beyond full and could have done with just the combo itself. Prices are quite reasonable, although we had some soju and beer, so it ended up costing over $30 a person. Otherwise, it can be quite reasonable. Service is also quite friendly.

Pros:
– BBQ dinner combos are great value
– Most dishes were well executed

Cons:
– Restaurant is a bit small so can be crowded on weekends
– Table gets very crowded

Price Range: $20-40

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2.5 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 3

Gang Nam Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ole Wings & Tapas

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Another meet up with SP and SK meant looking for a spot with good food and cheap drinks. We decided to give Ole Wings and Tapas a try although the drinks didn’t have any deals going on. It’s pretty hidden since it’s upstairs, but by dinner time, the place was filled with rowdy Koreans playing games while drinking.

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Spicy Soy Boneless Chicken

They have a variety of chicken items and we decided to share the Spicy Soy Boneless Chicken. This was actually a very large plate and we could barely finish it! The batter is very crispy and if you like your chicken with sauce, this is great. At first bite, it was quite spicy, but as you ate it along with the beer, it was actually quite bearable. I think it was a much better deal than Zabu Chicken.

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Seafood Pancake

We also got an order of Seafood Pancake, but I was quite disappointed with this. It wasn’t very crispy and there wasn’t a lot seafood in it. I’d suggest sticking with their chicken here.

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Overall, I was quite satisfied with Ole Wings and Tapas. A good choice among the Korean restaurants in this stretch if you want chicken and beer. Pitchers run at around $15 which is around the same as most restaurants, but I found that the value of the chicken was pretty good since we only needed to order one plate for the three of us. You also get free pickled daikon since it pairs well with spicy food. Service was also quite friendly and attentive even though we were probably the only non-Koreans dining there.

Pros:
– Prices are reasonable for the amount of chicken you get
– Crispy chicken and variety of sauces to choose from

Cons:
– Food other than chicken appears to be just average
– Can get very loud at night

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 2 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

Ole Wings and Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zabu Chicken

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KH and KC finally made our trip to Zabu Chicken after months of talking about fried chicken and beer. We headed over on a random weekday after work, and we were surprised that that it had a decent amount of diners. Zabu Chicken offers Korean fried chicken and beer, and most of their diners are Korean. By 7:00 pm, the place shut off their lights and had some night club music going on. Contrary to what many people had said about their poor service, I actually didn’t find it a problem and the service was quite attentive. Food did take quite some time to come out, but since we had our drinks, it wasn’t too much of a problem.

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Complimentary Coleslaw and Pickled Radish

After you place your order, you get some complimentary dishes. They served us Coleslaw as well as some Pickled Radish. At first, we thought the dishes were pretty underwhelming, but once you have some beer and chicken, you will appreciate it. The sourness of the pickled radish will help you cool down from the spicy chicken.

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Sapporo

With fried chicken, you have to get some beer. We ended up getting two pitchers of Sapporo for the night. Not the cheapest, but at $17, it was a reasonable price to share. I like how they provide you with beer mugs which have been put in the freezer so that your beer is kept cold.

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Zabu Hot Combo (M)

We decided to share a few dishes and started off with the Zabu Hot Combo. You can choose between medium and large size. We went with the medium, and you get a mix of wings and drumsticks. These were delicious! They are spicy, but a tolerable one and great with beer. The batter is so crispy! Something about it just tastes a lot different compared to American fried chicken. The sauce makes the chicken moist, but you still get the crispiness. The meat is also kept moist and tender.

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Zabu Soy Combo (L)

We also got their original Zabu Soy Combo, and we got this in large. These were also very delicious, and it had a nice sweet taste to it. A must order! It’s funny because you can also order a whole chicken… When we asked the server about it, she said they literally chop up the whole chicken and fry it…

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Overall, we were extremely satisfied with Zabu Chicken. The fried chicken isn’t the cheapest, but I’ve realized that fried chicken can be quite expensive. I also liked how we were able to sit around and chat and continue drinking our beer and the servers didn’t kick us out. Cool place to chill at night!

Pros:
– Chicken is crispy and moist
– Fun, chill place to drink and hang with friends

Cons:
– Prices aren’t exactly cheap

Price Range: $15-25

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

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Man Ri Sung Korean Restaurant

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Man Ri Sung used to be located in the strip mall where Banzai is on Westminister. It recently moved to the third floor of Aberdeen Mall and is famous for their peking duck. I believe it is run by Koreans, but they seem to cater to the Chinese. Looking through the menu, there are quite a few dishes that lean towards the Chinese cuisine.

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The interior is quite spacious with many tables. It’s great for large groups, and each table has the grill set up on the table in case you order bbq items.

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Banchan

Dinner started with complimentary banchan, which included kimchi, marinated radish, marinated bean sprouts and sweet potatoes. These were just average, with the kimchi being probably the best as it was just the right amount of spice and sourness for me. The sweet potatoes were underwhelming. The sauce wasn’t that great compared to other restaurants. Seemed a bit watery.

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Pan Fried Potato Noodles

Anyways, we didn’t get their famous peking duck, since you need to pre-order and it was just S and I eating. S chose the Pan Fried Potato Noodles in a small size, and it was quite a huge plate. I think he only ended up finishing half of it. The potato noodles were quite underwhelming. They were not very flavourful and I’ve definitely had better. It also seemed like they lacked beef in the dish.

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Short Beef Rib Soup

For myself, I had the Short Beef Rib Soup. I found the beef short ribs to be overcooked so the meat was quite chewy. The soup itself was pretty good, although it lacked depth in flavour. I ended up dipping my kimchi in to give it some spice and flavour. This was just average.

Overall, Man Ri Sung was quite average based on the dishes we tried. Korean food can be quite pricey, but I think some of their items seem to be quite reasonably priced for the portion sizes. It would definitely be better to eat with a larger group so you can share more items. Service was quite slow near the end and I didn’t find it too friendly. I think I would prefer Sura downstairs even though it’s pricier.

Pros:
– Large portions
– Comfortable seating

Cons:
– Dishes we tried were just average
– Service was a bit slow

Price Range: $15-25

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2.5
Service: 2
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 2.5
Overall: 2.5

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Midam Cafe

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Midam Cafe is hidden in a complex just off North Road. It’s been a year since I’ve visited, and K was desperate to get some shikye (a Korean rice drink). So desperate that we drove almost an hour to get here to find out they didn’t offer it right now. Probably because it’s more of a summer drink. Anyways, Midam is famous for their rice cakes, and I have to say they are pretty good! The spot is filled with diners at night for drinks and food, but we were surprised to be the first diners here during your typical lunch time on a weekend.

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We were served the complimentary ban-chan or Korean side dishes. These were all very good, consisting of kimchi, sweet potatoes and marinated kelp. The kimchi was a lot spicier than your typical, but was still delicious.

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Korean Traditional Rice Cake Soup

I chose the Korean Traditional Rice Cake Soup, which was surprisingly a very large bowl of soup. The broth was flavoured well, but definitely not salty. The rice cakes were cooked perfectly, so they were slightly chewy. It was filled with green onions, egg and seaweed. I put some of the kimchi in to give it some spice, which complemented the dish very well.

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Fresh Vegetable Porridge Set

K got the Fresh Vegetable Porridge Set, which again was a very large bowl. It had chopped vegetables and the porridge was flavoured just right. Very delicious!

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Grilled Mochi with Red Bean

We finished off our meal with dessert, which oddly came at the same time as our food. I would’ve appreciated it more if the dessert was served after we finished our meals. The Grilled Mochi with Red Bean came on a hot plate and didn’t look too appetizing, but was actually quite delicious. The mochi was soft with a slight chew, and the sweetness from the red beans and roasted almonds worked well with the dish. The only concern was that the mochi was slightly burnt, so you could taste the charcoal.

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Overall, Midam has solid Korean dishes and is great for desserts and drinks. I would suggest you try their rice cakes as they are probably some of the best in town. Service is just average, and there honestly isn’t much since you need to press the button to get the attention of your server. Parking is pretty good as well, although I can imagine the complex getting busy with the Korean supermarket also located in the complex.

Pros:
– Delicious home-made rice cakes – both savoury and sweet
– Great selection of desserts and drinks

Cons:
– Lack of service

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 2
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 3
Overall: 3

Midam Cafe on Urbanspoon